top 25 exercises for building muscle
As you might expect, I received tons
of emails in response.
Funny thing was -- most of the emails
were about an exercise that wasn't
even on the list!
It was the parallel dip -- a tried and
true strength and muscle builder that's
been around since (I'm sure) the days
of the ancient Greeks. (Why am I sure?
Because the guy that posed for the famous
statue of the Farnese Hercules undoubtedly
did them -- along with plenty of pull-ups.)
And remember - John McCallum once called
dips "the upper body squat."
So why aren't they on the list?
The answer is simple.
Dips DO build strength and muscle -- but
they also wreck shoulders.
The problem is the bottom position of the
exercise. There's just too much stretch on
the shoulder joint. Over time, bad things
happen to a surprisingly high number of
trainees who may have once viewed dips
as their very best friend.
Now, having said that, I KNOW that many
of you are going to continue to do dips.
So let me share some advice.
Don't do deep dips with a full stretch
at the bottom.
In fact, don't even go all the way down.
Stop about two inches below the bottom
of the rep -- not the deep stretch
position, but the bottom of the rep.
Don't worry about missing out on any sort
of strength and muscle-building benefit
by skipping those potentially dangerous
last couple of inches.
The middle and top positions of the dip
are where you build the strength and
muscle. And they're much easier on
your shoulders. So stick to that part
of the movement -- the safe but
productive part of the movement.
Al of the above assumes that you're
going to do your dips the right way,
meaning in good form, and under control.
No drop and bounce stuff.
No twisting or swinging or kicking the
feet or wiggling the knees.
You lockout, pause briefly, lower,
go down only as far as I just described --
and then go back up.
And you control the movement the entire
Personally, I still prefer close grip
(meaning shoulder width or slightly
closer) bench presses to work the
triceps -- but for those out there
who insist on doing dips, do them
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make
it a good one.
Yours in strength,
P.S. I cover plenty of other great
exercises for safe and effective strength
and muscle building in Dinosaur Bodyweight
Training. Go here to grab a copy:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
Views 1325 Comments 13
|07-11-2014, 10:14 PM||#3|
Join Date: May 2014
Training Type: Fullbody
Fav Exercise: Pullup/Dips
Fav Supp: Sardines
I do V Bar Dips and only to just below parallel. I find that any other form of Dip hurts to much.
Workout Log : Ricks Log
|07-12-2014, 03:06 AM||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2013
Training Exp: 04/2013
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Squat
Fav Supp: Caffeine
Years ago I heard a phrase that still resonates within "Dips are for dipshits." On a more serious note, there are tones of other safer and more effective exercises do to everything that the dip can do, so why risk anything?
Gym Lifts: 380x3/263x2/425x4
Meet Lifts: Pending
Training Log: http://muscleandbrawn.com/forum/show...d=1#post566261
|07-12-2014, 04:22 AM||#5|
Join Date: Feb 2013
Some of the biggest, strongest people on the planet over the years have sworn by them. Can't be that bad.
And I've found that nothing works the triceps quite like them.
To each their own, etc.
41yo, 6'2", ~93kg
best gym lifts: sq 160kg / bp 110kg / dl 190kg /
c&p 80kg / dips +50kg / chins +31.25kg
my training log
|07-12-2014, 08:41 AM||#6|
Join Date: Apr 2014
Training Exp: 10 over the years
Training Type: Powerlifting
I've been using a "sling shot", which helps keep my elbows tucked in.
Also a boost out of the hole, but I make up for that with extra weight and or reps.
I do almost full range of motion, just short at the top and bottom.
I love dips
|07-12-2014, 09:15 AM||#7|
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: United States
Some strength coaches such as Christian Thibadeau consider dips to be better for chest development than bench presses. True however that dips can wreck the shoulders and are contraindicated if you have issues such as rotator cuff issues or subacromial impingement.
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
|07-12-2014, 01:25 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Training Exp: 32
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Deadlift
Fav Supp: Dead Cow
I think the risk/reward on dips is way too high. I thought, wrongly of course, that heavy inclines where tearing my delt / pec tie in area. It was the dips.
I haven't done dips since the late 80s. Hate them. I think there are other - more effective - safer movements. Now, some have benefited greatly from dips. One of the greatest benchers in history (IMHO) Pat Casey utilized dips as a staple exercise.
I think the best way to do dips is not to do dips.
|07-12-2014, 05:55 PM||#9|
Join Date: Mar 2011
Training Exp: 20 Years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
Fav Exercise: Squat & Deadlift
Fav Supp: Collagen
I have been doing dips, even weighted with up to 70 lbs (i'm 220) and have never had a problem - not even ever a tweak of any kind. With that said, I have been doing them as described in the article anyway.
My Favorite Part Of Lifting Is Having The Opportunity
Meet PR's: (May 2014) Raw Natural
Squat 475 lbs
Bench: 286 lbs
Deadlift: 501 lbs
Total: 1262 lbs
Squat: 495 lbs
Bench: 300 lbs
Deadlift: 520 lbs/500X5
Total: 1315 Lbs
|07-12-2014, 07:09 PM||#10|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Training Exp: 15
Training Type: Strongman
Fav Exercise: Yoke
Fav Supp: Beef
Totally separate issue relating to dips to mention here - I've hurt myself once or twice doing heavy dips. There was a while there where I was doing very low rep ranges (3-5) with 135 lbs on my dip belt (I weighed 220 at the time). I think it stressed my rib cage too much because after some sets my breast bone hurt like hell and anything that caused my rib cage to deform (benching, deep breaths, certain stretches) caused a deep pain in the front of my chest. Had to quit dipping heavy for a while and it went away completely. I still dip but I stick to higher rep ranges.
Training Log: http://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17327
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